Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Radical Acceptance

Radical acceptance is the term the therapist at the rehab has spoken to Ken about. You don't have to like the circumstances, but try to accept them. We try.

There has been another bump in the road, or I should say a potential bump. His doctor came in today to let us know that the tissue (skin) they sewed together at the top of his head is fragile and could get infected. They have to monitor it carefully. If it does get infected there will be another operation and they will have to take out the plastic skull. Suffice to say it would be a bump we don't need.

Ken said something tonight that I have to quote (warning: swearing ahead), "I have to be here, this is where my ass is". I will spare to the context from which this quote was inspired. But I think it sums up the radical acceptance thing quite well.

I hate this situation. I hate that I can't protect him from all this. That when the doctor was talking all I could do was look at how tired and battered (and beautiful) he was and I couldn't make it be different. But I have to accept that I can't. Because if I don't then I can't help him move forward. But I will never, ever like it.


  1. To ask you to like any of this ordeal would be asking far, far too much . . .

    This radical acceptance sounds like a difficult thing for my Western non-Zen mentality to do. I tend to rail against that which I perceive as unfair. That circumstances cannot be changed is altogether too apparent; that the brain's plasticity and Ken's recovery is a daily undertaking of faith and hard work cannot be doubted. That you both inspire us all daily with your fortitude and humor and dignity and courage and grace, that cannot be said enough. THAT I can accept.

    love, Amy & Ed

  2. Again, don't feel at all bad about monitoring people's comings and goings and how they handle infection control in the room. "Did you wash your hands?" is just a question. "Is that sterile?" is just a question. You can't be there all the time, but you can create an atmosphere when you are there that will be communicated from shift to shift and that will become a voiced expectation. And don't be afraid to let the nurse manager know if someone isn't following infection control protocol. Noone will lose his/her job. It will just raise awareness. Again, thank God that Ken is young and strong and has you and humor and loving family on his side, not to mention a bunch of Catholics in New Jersey and a few nuns and a priest in Maine. Tess.

  3. I guess that means that Ken doesn't get to pick at his scab. I love hearing Ken's humor in bits of the blog. Understated and funny.

    All the best,